UK air traffic control flight delays at lowest level

Flights in UK airspace during March were held up by an average of just 0.1 seconds as a result of an air traffic control issue that could be attributed to NATS.

The latest punctuality figures issued by NATS, the UK’s air navigation service provider, showed that the total for air traffic control related delays during the whole of March was 379 minutes.

That is the lowest monthly total of NATS-attributable delay since records started being kept almost 20 years ago.

Almost all of the delay for March came on Easter Sunday when there was a need to regulate the air traffic flow because demand exceeded the available capacity of the airspace.

Those flights that were delayed were held up on average by 10.8 minutes.

The punctuality figures for the first three months of the year – January to March – show that the average NATS-attributable delay for all flights was just 0.4 seconds. It was 1.2 seconds over the same period in 2012.

NATS Managing Director Martin Rolfe said: “These record low figures for air traffic control delays illustrate that our determination to keep the travelling public moving is paying off.

“If you are held up in an aircraft in the UK today the chances are very high that it is something other than NATS air traffic control that is causing the problem.”

NATS handled 165,237 flights in March, which is 2.8 per cent down when compared with March 2012.

The hardest hit market sector was transatlantic overflights which was 8.1 per cent down on the same time last year.

Posted in CAAs/ANSPs, News

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